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Best Local Artist/Performing

Lisa Otey

READERS' PICK: A perennial favorite, Lisa Otey has won over our readers with her superb piano playing and gracious spirit. In addition to her role as musical director for the Gaslight Theater, she's been part of the regular line-up at Box Seats Grill, and a guest artist in Kingfisher's jazz line-up over the past year. We haven't heard from her lately, but her 1996 release Blue Angel was similarly a readers' favorite. Otey was a featured performer in the 1997 Tucson Area Music Awards showcase at Café Sweetwater, and appreciative fans packed the house to hear her sulty voice and magical keyboards. If you're in the mood for some fine local talent, you'll find none better than Lisa Otey.


A REAL SCREAM: You've seen him on Downtown Saturday Night, there on the corner of Congress Street and Sixth Avenue, crooning and strumming right out of the back of his tremendous '60-something Pontiac. Little Buford's (a.k.a. Rusty Sivley) stated purpose is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ; but he manages to make some beautifully interesting music in the process. His self-contained band consists of a drum machine, two guitars, and a mean set of electronics, including a surreal choral component that seems to raise the sonic Buford quotient exponentially. Between short sermons you'll mostly hear classic country along the lines of Patsy Cline and Willie Nelson, all rendered for the greater glory of God in a spooky timbre. Take home a bit of Little Buford with one of his homemade live-performance tapes. But music isn't the only arena in which this musician-cum-preacher shines; he's also a licensed and bonded AC technician--"No job too small or too dirty," his slogan reads. We like to think of him as our resident born-again Renaissance man, doling out hot country and cold air to all walks of desert denizens.

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